The Ination, an aquatic species for whom combat in the ocean is so natural that it almost perfectly translates into space combat, resulting a species-wide natural affinity for precision flight and space warfare. This species is essentially dogfighting with multi-kilometer-long warships like they are fighter jets. Serrans possess similar flight capabilities, supported by extremely advanced AI.
Though not as naturally gifted, there are "Imperial Ace" archetype characters who serve as squadron commanders for the Imperial Fleet.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Most of the Imperium's nobility don't do much to improve its situation, though partially because the Empress often has anything she perceives as deviance from them lead to a prompt assassination, which can include their entire families.
Asskicking Equals Authority: The Kafrin have institutionalized this. Leaders are determined by duels to the death, but savvy Kafrin leaders arrange for assassinations, intimidation, and political intrigue to deal with those with rising ambitions. As a result, any Kafrin leader is required to be strong, cunning, adaptable, and treacherous.
Authority Equals Asskicking: The higher-ranking an Imperial soldier is, the more capable they become. Imperial officers and generals are almost literally an order of magnitude more powerful and deadly than regular enlisted soldiers.
Hinted at with the Empress herself (though at the moment she doesn't have a predetermined in game profile), with statements that Strike Legion teams have gone after her in the past with no success.
Also occurs with the Fleet. While captains are chosen based on the leadership, they also happen to be better fighters the other officer types, except for the officers that devoted to fighting and nothing else.
The Masters Guild, being an Expy of the Jedi Order, also has this, with its leadership being composed of its most powerful members.
Badass Adorable: The Guardians are catfolk Gebs that were designed by their creators to cute, and have high skills with Mastery. The Imperium ignores their planets because any fleets that attack them don't come back.
Badass Bookworm: Even a legionnaire that doesn't specialize in combat and focuses on skills in science or maintaining machines is still one of the deadliest fighters in the galaxy.
Beware the Nice Ones: Guardians have this a hat. They're peaceful and seek to do good, and they excel at Mastery. The Imperium has at the moment deemed attacking their worlds a lost cause.
BFG: Just about any firearm that isn't designed to be concealable, and a significant number that are. Weaponry scales up from anti-personnel laser weapons to laser sniper rifles that have a literally unlimited range (you could theoretically snipe someone on another planet using this thing) to high-powered laser and plasma weapons that can destroy buildings in a single shot.
Blood Knight: Fermorian Dark Warriors, who have given in to their natural bloodlust and don suits of powered armor or pilot battle frames and compete to see who can be the most brutal killing machine on the battlefield.
Card-Carrying Villain: The Imperium. Aside from the DOOM LEGION, there's the Death Troopers, the Imperial Death Factory, Imperial Space Marine Legions covered in Spikes of Villainy, and a paranormal division whose sole job is to harness demonic extradimensional entities as weapons of war.
Cast from Hit Points: The Inner Gates advantage allows you to sacrifice points of Life to gain additional actions.
Cat Folk: Guardians, who have a chibi design, and Kafrins, who are more akin to tigers.
Combining Mecha: It's an option in the GM section, and usually results in something far more powerful than the individual frames. For bonus points, the option is even called Super Robot
Cool Starship: The Legion Strike Cruiser, one of the most powerful warships in existence. Most of the Republic's other warships count. Imperial ships are of inferior quality, but their Empress-class dreadnoughts are extremely powerful.
Crapsack World: The Imperium in general consists of countless worlds covered in vast cities that have nearly lawless anarchy, where conscription and brainwiping are commonplace and the Imperial Fleet can legally come by and take anything they want. On the flip side, while the Republic is relatively pristine, everyone there lives in fear of the Imperium breaking through the defense lines and obliterating their planets without warning.
Crazy-Prepared: The Empress not only created the Assassins Guild, Imperial Protectorate and Imperial Authority to keep her subjects and military in line right up to the highest ranking officers, but she created the to monitor the each other in case of any signs of rebellion.
Curbstomp Battle: One of the quotes mentions an Imperium admiral who took a massed force of about ten thousand ships that he predicted would be able to smash through Republic defenses and destroy "hundreds of Republic worlds" before a counterattack could be commenced. The next page has a final report from said admiral stating that his entire armada was destroyed "in minutes" by ten Legion Strike Cruisers and one hundred Legion Frames.
Cyborg: Runs the whole gamut of possibilities, from implants and augmentations to body-mounted weaponry to full-body conversions.
Eye Beams (also a possible mutation for Imperial supersoldiers)
Dark Is Evil: Dark Masters, Expys of the Sith, Masters who either attempt to grasp too much knowledge or lose control during an act of Mastery. Either way, it drives them insane, and they are compelled to search out as much knowledge as they can, and their actions often put entire planets in danger. Both the Republic and the Imperium actively try to kill them.
Dark Messiah: The Empress of Man. She has built up a cult around her demanding that the Imperium's citizenry worship her as a goddess, promising them salvation in exchange for mindless devotion.
Deflector Shields: Ubiquitous among military personnel and police, and for good reason, as even in armor, most pistols can kills people with glancing hits without shields. Personal shielding systems act more as extra hitpoints, as once they are depleted they are gone, whereas vehicle, Frame, and warship shields can regenerate.
Despotism Is Hard: The purpose for the Imperial Pyramid. The Empress is Genre Savvy enough to get most of the Imperium isn't going obey her insane demands even the fleet she amassed, so she set an organization whose purpose it manipulate the entire cultures of planets to ensure they don't rebel.
The Dreaded: Several the Gens have Imperial Icons listing a frightened report of them by the Imperium. Some that stand out are;
Aryans, the Imperium is so afraid of them that they recommend always using orbital bombardments before assaulting Ayran worlds.
Guardians, the Imperium lost every ship they ever sent against the Guardian worlds so they just plain order their fleets to stay away from them.
Inations, who described as having the most dangerous fleets ever encountered by the Imperium and they aren't even sure if there's a solid way of beating them.
Veraxins, who the Imperium decides to sacrifice the hive worlds they are attacking due to a lack of manpower in the area, and the icon summary notes that fighting them doesn't have much chance of success.
Doom Troops: Aside from the literal DOOM TROOPS of the DOOM LEGION, most Imperial soldiers count.
Drop the Hammer: There's regular hammers, gravity hammers ripped straight from Halo, and even rocket-propelled warhammers.
Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Warship engagements regulalry throw around blasts that can destroy worlds. Also: singularity grenades and singularity missiles.
Laser Blade: Multiple types, including energy swords, plasma gun-swords, lightning swords, and ancient laser blades that deal sufficient damage to destroy starships.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Lasers are a very common and versitale weapon in the setting, generally designed to be rapid-fire and low damage, making them suitable for anti-personnel work or destroying smaller warships.
Wave Motion Gun: Many suits fo power armor, mecha, and warships can mount massive superweapons; the warship-scale ones can destroy planets with ease, and ships generally are able to take multiple hits from these weapons.
The Imperial Death Factory and the Imperial Weavers specialize in this.
According to the background, many of the "Gens" (genetically engineered species) were created as specialist soldiers or laborers.
The Empress is trying to use genetic engineering to turn the entire population of the Imperium into Mastery-capable supersoldiers. Most of the Imperium's populace already has nearly fifty percent of her genetic material to start with thanks to massive genetic tampering at birth. As a result, the Imperium has a huge number of people with limited Mastery abilities.
Genius Bruiser: Fermorians and Quateren. The former are an orc-like warrior species that have modified their own genes to become a species of scientists and philosophers, while the latter are massive rhino-like slabs of muscle and bone who have instead immersed themselves in scientific study and virtual reality in order to more readily understand the universe.
Ironically, one of the Asylum's "product," the Clown, is a psychopathically violent murder machine who also happens to have an Intelligence score of 1, which effectively makes it smarter than most of modern humanity.
Most of the warships in the game are actually comparatively fragile. ("Comparatively" being the operative words, considering they routinely trade and survive shots that kill planets) Instead of seeing slugging matches with huge ponderous vessels, engagements between fleets are more like fighter dogfights, but with multi-kilometer-long ships.
One of the "products" of the Asylum is a soldier known as the "Harlequin," who is an extremely mobile and capable soldier with the ability to plan out thousands of possible scenarios at once (so, essentially Midnighter) and deal a surprising amount of damage, but has no armor and dies very quickly once you catch him/her.
Godzilla Threshold: The "Ultimate Solution", a piece of weaponized nanotech that the Strike Legion reserves for when things have gotten completely out of control and the instant and total annihilation of an area larger than your typical Dyson Sphere is needed. And considering that Legionaires have access to warships and Frames capable of laying waste to entire planets and potentially destroying stars, it puts the Ultimate Solution's power into perspective.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Delving too deep into Mastery, and thus understanding the fundamental nature of reality, can drive weak minds completely insane. Similarly, using a Time Circuit can drive its user further and further out of touch with reality.
Government Conspiracy: The Imperial Pyramid, whose purpose is to direct the social development of the Imperium to better control and grow the society to the Empress' end.
Humungous Mecha: Frames most obviously, but Theans also build even larger Mega Frames, which are the size of warships that carry most frames.
Hidden Elf Village: The Guardians as a whole, whose society exists largely within hidden pocket-universes created by their control of Mastery. The normally hyper-aggressive Imperium actually makes a point to leave them alone because attempting to target the Guardians' pocket realities has always resulted in the entire fleet being destroyed.
Hopeless War: For the Republic, unless the Legions can stop the Imperium's war machine.
Horde of Alien Locusts: The Battle Heralds and the Hive (the former a more mechanized variant), both of which are out to destroy everything that isn't them, eat it, and use their conquered planets to make more of themselves like vast Von Neumann machines.
Humongous Mecha: Ubiquitous. "Frames" have actually replaced traditional fighter craft due to superior mobility and firepower. Everyone, from the Imperium and Republic to corporate security and police forces use them.
The Theans have put the "humongous" into their mecha, by building dreadnought-sized "Dominator" Frames.
Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Nullspace, the alternate dimension used for FTL travel, will quickly disintegrate any ship that lingers in it for too long, meaning that faster-than-light travel involves a large number of short jumps through nullspace.
Informed Attractiveness: We are told the Empress is beautiful, but there so far aren't pictures of her or even descriptions of what she looks like.
Invisibility Cloak: A common piece of gear for stealth-oriented agents and Legionaires. Theans also use these on their massive Frames in space combat.
Kaiju: The Death Factory produces tactical kaiju in anti-vehicle, anti-frame, and anti-starship models.
Killer Rabbit: The Theans, a species of humanoid rabbits with precognition and immense space-capable Frames with stealth systems that let them sneak inside entire Imperial fleets to destroy them from within.
Lightning Bruiser: The Legionaires as a whole. All Legionaires start with the Fleet ability, allowing them to move twice as fast as unmodified humans, and the speed only goes up from there. The typical Legionaire also has a high enough initiative that they can often engage and gun/cut down entire squads at the start of an engagement before they can even move, and this is before we take into account their movement and evasive abilities.
Long Lived: The Hetochi, which can live for more than four thousand years at a time, due to being engineered for terraforming work. Their extremely long lifespans make it difficult for them to relate to shorter-lived species.
Lost Technology: The previous Imperium was even more technologically advanced than the current one, and countless other alien empires existed before the Empress enforced the Eternal Night that destroyed most interstellar civilizations. Both the Imperium and the Republic actively seek out technology from these old civilizations.
Macross Missile Massacre: Republic Frames and power armor can mount packs of swarmer missiles, which can be launched in massive salvos and then the launchers dumped. It's a common tactic for every Republic Frame to be armed with these and unleash all of their missiles at once at the start of an engagement. Considering the Imperium's favored tactic, this is a reasonable tactic.
Mad Scientist: You don't get institutions like the Imperial Death Factory or the Asylum without these.
Meaningful Name: The Chedan warships are named after terms for forts, which says something about their durability.
Mighty Glacier: Chedan warships have such incredibly powerful shields that they're virtually impervious to regular Imperial naval weapons. The Imperium responds by ramming them.
The Battle Herald's Dominator Broodship, which is easily among the least mobile ships in the game. And it has the most guns, a massive sensor rating of 40 meaning it can get as much as +40 on its attack rolls, and by FAR the highest shields in the game at a rating of 5000 (the closest contenders, which include the Chedan's best ship, only have 1000). A shot from a Strike Cruiser's Motion Cannon won't even do much damage to its shields, and it can even survive multiple hits while unshielded.
Monster Clown: The overall theme of the stuff sent out by the Imperial Asylum, with everything but the Mindbender scientists having clown themed names. This includes a melee specialist called The Joker.
Mooks: It says something when the genetically-engineered, extremely-well-trained, power-armor-wearing supersoldiers wielding fully automatic rocket grenade launchers are regular mooks who get slaughtered in droves fighting the Legion.
Elite Mooks: You generally need the supersoldiers who are substantially more powerful than the generic Imperial Space Marine Legions to even draw close to the kind of firepower and skill of the Legionaires.
Giant Mook: Clowns, one of the "products" of the Imperial Asylum.
Heavily Armored Mook: The upper-tier Imperial supersoldiers in heavy power armor or piloting powerful Frames.
Monster Mooks: The monsters created in the Imperium's Death Factories.
Superpowered Mooks: Countless varieties, generally mixed with one of the other types listed above.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Empress of Man has a knack for literally creating her enemies. The Gens she created to fight her enemies nearly wiped out her Imperium, and her efforts to wipe them out in the present setting means fighting them and the Republic, giving both of them a common enemy.
N.G.O. Superpower: Implied; one of the suggested missions in the rulebook involves taking care of gangs, which suggests some seriously powerful gangs if they're deserving of Legionnaire attention.
The Night That Never Ends: Operation Eternal Night, which the Empress initiated to prevent the Imperium from losing the first war with their own rebelling Gens. It involved using a titanic Mastery project to isolate every star system in the galaxy for thousands of years.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted for the Imperium at least, which does have different scientists that specialize in different areas, all of which are related to its war effort is some shape or form.
Individual Legionaires. A strike team of Legionaires is expressly described as being more dangerous than an entire Republic battlefleet, and can do the same job with far fewer losses. In fact, a well-equipped Legionaire can take on most Imperium Frames head on and win. This is not even counting what a Legionaire is capable of in a Frame of his/her own.
Legion Strike Cruisers can take on a sizeable armada and win, thanks to packing a main gun able to destroy pretty much anything in the Imperium's existing fleet. Ten Strike cruisers, backed by a hundred Legion Frames, were able to halt an entire imperial invasion fleet of over ten thousand ships.
The Lamerians are notable for being the only other species to produce Frames as powerful as the Legion's. In fact, Legion and Lamerian Frames are based on the same Organic Technology.
Organic Technology: Aside from bio-implants, the Imperial Weavers use organic tech to the point where they refuse to use non-organic computers and weapons. Legion Frames and powered armor are also partly biomechanical, as are Lamerian Frames and the Federation of Terra's bioships.
Our Angels Are Different: Serrans, a hyperintelligent Gen species resembling angels. They specialize in highly-advanced AI technolgy and are masters of spaceflight, and bear a more-than-passing resemblance to The Culture.
Our Demons Are Different: They're monsters from outside our dimension who can phase through objects, meaning they ignore armor and shields. Some are also bound into human bodies by the Imperial Paranormal Division. And the sample ones in the mission data don't cover all the types of them
Our Dwarfs Are The Same: Granks, created as miners. They're shorter than humans, but stronger and tougher. They mostly inhabit cities built underground.
Our Elves Are Better: The Lamerians, who are for all intents and purposes the Eldar, though a departure from this trope, the orcs have a longer livespan than them. Their looks, however, stem from them being Gens designed to be beautiful.
Our Orcs Are Different: The Fermorin. These particular orc-like creatures are actually an entire species of highly-intelligent pacifists, focused on art, science, and literature. They were once a species of savage brutes that were an obvious Expy of the [[Warhammer40,000 Orks]], created as a bio-weapon that would be dropped on a planet, afterwhich they would rapidly reproduce and overwhelm the planets defenders. But, through careful genetic engineering turned themselves into pacifists, though they can succumb to their own violent urges once again and become one of the most terrifying enemies on the battlefield. In a notable departure from their inspiration, they are actually very good shots.
Our Vampires Are Different: Aside from real vampires (which are badasses comparable to Legionaires) there are actual vampire warships, complete with giant metallic fangs, that latch onto other ships.
Phlebotinum Rebel: The Gens are a massive example of this, as they were all created to serve humanity in one fashion or another, until the Imperium started making Gens that were truly self-aware. Once this happened, the Imperium started making warrior species due to the need to wage extradimensional war against alien civilizations, but the enslaved warriors and noncombatant Gens eventually turned on the Imperium. The Star Republic was eventually created from that rebellion.
Planet of Hats: Played with. While many species have hats, i.e. the Draken being a Proud Warrior Race, the character creation section makes a point that just because a species has a predilection toward a particular mindset, the player shouldn't feel limited to that. Some species actively subvert it as well. For example, the Granks were genetically engineered to be extremely resistant to change in their society, so they established a practice known as the Exchange where they routinely shuffle their population around to new cities and worlds in order to actively foster growth and adaptation in their people, turning them into a hyper-dynamic society. Another example is the Fermorians, who deliberately altered their genome and society to push them away from being mindless warriors and instead turning themselves into scholars and scientists.
Playing with Syringes: Just about every Imperial supersoldier program or other weapons development program involves this.
All Legionaires wear highly advanced "Spartan" armor, while other, less-powerful armor types are available across the board for Imperial, Republic, and unaffiliated troops. One type of armor even resembles the Crysis nanosuit, and is able to switch between combat modes. There's also a number of bodysuits that fit under clothes or armor that confer various combat or skill bonuses.
The Republican civilian police officers get Power Armor almost on par with Imperial military mooks. Said powered armor is equivalent to MJOLNIR armor. Again, this is civilian police armor.
Power Born of Madness: The Imperial Asylum, whose job is to take the still-living but horribly broken rejects of the rest of the Imperium's supersoldier programs and try to make something useful out of them. The common results are extremely powerful and mentally unstable living weapons.
Proud Warrior Race: Several species most notably the Draken (though they avert some the tropes associated with it and act more like realistic military). The Fermorin were this until they engineered it out of them.
Purposely Overpowered: The Strike Legion's equipment. They're stated have the most advanced weaponry in the Republic, and by and large their exclusive equipment, aside from personal armor which is actually surpassed by some of the other in common armor in the game, outclasses everything else. They have the best personal weapons, their power armor and frames have among the highest stats in the game of the vehicles of their factor range, and the few Frames and armors that approach their stats still lack their various exclusive specials, and weapons which are weapons also outclass what other factions possess. Their Strike Cruiser is also faster than any other ship, packs a better selection of weapons, most notably its Motion Cannon which does at least ten times as much damage as any other weapon in the game and hits everything in front of it on 4+, and ignores armor, meaning you can count the number of ships in the game that can survive a hit from it one hand, and it can fire every three turns, unlike other guns like which can only be fired once, and that doesn't even get all of its special rules.
Ramming Always Works: Imperial ships have a special ability called "Devotion" which allows them to suicide-ram enemy ships. The larger Imperial ships' shields are strong enough that they can ram planets and win. In fact, ramming is so powerful that it is the recommended method of taking out Chedan warships.
Reality Warper: Mastery, pretty much ripped straight from Mage: The Ascension. The Imperium has their own Mastery corps and countless supersoldiers capable of using it, while the Republic relies on their Guild of Masters (an expy of the Jedi Order). Mastery is also used by the Ancients, and is incredibly powerful.
Reference Overdosed: You could probably count the number of things that aren't a reference to something else on one hand.
Ret Gone: Time Mastery allows for the retroactive removal of a person from time, if the Master is powerful enough.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A number of Kafrin planets have been destroyed by the Imperium, and as a result the surviving defense fleets from these worlds are on constant crusades of vengeance that send them deep into Imperial territory where they invade, raze, or outright destroy Imperial worlds. More than a few of these epically-pissed-off Kafrin fleets have actually made it far enough that they had to be destroyed by the Empress' own personal fleet.
Robot War: Thanks to the Battle Heralds, a race of extremely hostile sentiet robots that are invading the Imperium and Republic, and are somewhere between the Reapers and the Tyranids.
Theans in general, but a small, select group known as the Order of the Eye has extremely advanced precognitive powers to the point that they can precisely predict when Imperial fleets are going to invade. How important are these seers? Each of them has a Legionaire assigned to guard them full time. Since there are only about a hundred Legionaires at any one time, this should give a good idea of how important the Order is to the war effort.
The Imperial Psi Corps produces "Prophet" supersoldiers that possess precognitive powers. They are powerful enough to a serious threat to the Legion.
Stealth in Space: Thean Frames and Legion Strike Cruisers, along with some other ships. A common part of Thean doctrine involves using their stealth abilities to sneak into Imperial fleets and wreak havoc within their formations.
Space Clothes: Suitskin, an ubiquitous form of color-changing, shape-changing clothing that protects from falls, fire, blades, etc. So commonplace that even the poverty-stricken Imperium populace has it as common clothing.
Space Elves: Lamerians, which were literally designed to look like elves. They're a fairly transparent expy of the Eldar from Warhammer 40,000, with massive "worldships" interconnected by a "transit web" and who use stealth, evasion, and large numbers of robots in combat. The one thing that separates them from the Eldar is the lack of racial prejudice and pride.
Stronger with Age: Fermorins, much like the [[Warhammer40,000 Orks]], grow bigger as they get older (and they have an average livespan of 1000 years), with every 100 years of life giving them an extra point of strength, but being bigger means they also lose a point in a agility for every point they gain in strength.
The Imperium produces them by the bucketload, and they come in a mind-boggling array of types. Everything from dual-wielding wire-fu Gun Katawarrior priests in powered armor to hosts for extradimensional demonic entities to X-Men-style mutants to shapechanging cannibalistic viral warriors note Yes, they mass-produce Alex Mercer and more.
Awesomeness by Analysis: The Command skill, which uses the Intelligence stat to analyze a situation and the Presence stat to control the rest of the team, allowing them both faster reaction times and additional actions. There's a number of other advantages that allow for rapid analysis for further benefits.
Born Lucky: Several advantages allow this, enabling you to reroll dice that go below a certain threshold. One advantage, Blessed, lets you reroll any die, even if you roll a 1, which is otherwise unable to be changed.
Bullet Time: A wide range of abilities that let you go super-fast and react with extreme speed.
Psychic Powers: Pick one from the list on that particular page, and you've got something like it available to a Legionaire.
Super Speed: Legionaires start with the Fleet advantage (allowing them to move two range bands in one action) and it just goes up from there.
Super Strength: Simply having more than one point in Strength grants you this, before you start putting more points into it and picking advantages to further enhance the ability to lift, break, and throw things.
This Is a Drill: A melee weapon option for vehicles. Also available in missile form.
Time Travel: Time Mastery allows for the Master in question to go back and alter the timeline, or even just rewrite time with their mind. Legionaires also carry a Time Circuit device that lets them go back in time to fix mistakes or Imerpial time-muckery.
Token Evil Teammate: the Veraxin are a xenomorph-style matriarchail species of religious fanatics who fight much like the Imperium (huge numbers or low-grade troops, brutal aggression and violence, raw fanatical devotion to their Queens, etc.) but are on the Republic's side. They're so vicious that the Republic has considered withdrawing the Fleet assets away from the Veraxin section of the front lines and let the Imperium beat up on them until they change their ways.
Transhuman: Everyone. Even the average Imperial citizen has genetic material from the Empress in them, making them smarter, stronger, and more beautiful than modern-day humanity. Nanotech, cybernetics, genetic engineering, bio-augmentation; if its listed on the Transhuman page, they've got it. The Gear section of the sourcebook also details the immense range of options available to the Republic and Imperium: everything from unobtrusive implants to full-body conversions, implanted weapons, mechanical endoskeletons, designer organ arrangements, distributed circulatory systems, and even seamless editing of your own memories.
Utopia Justifies the Means / Despotism Justifies the Means: The Empress claims everything she does, killing billions of people she refers to as her "children", assassinating any perceived deviants, waging a genocidal war, is all for the good of humanity. Not surprisingly, a portion of the Imperium hoping to overthrow her sees her aim as the latter of the two tropes.
The Virus: Multiple types. One type of virus, courtesy of the Death Factory, is an anti-tank beast capable of infecting other living creatures and turning them into more of itself. There's also a viral fleet, much like the Beast from Homeworld, along with vampires and zombies.
The core Imperial doctrine. No matter how many soldiers and ships they lose, they have countless trillions of the former and millions more of the latter.
The Imperium even applies this to their domestic policy. Planet starts revolting against Imperial rule? Dispatch legions of Imperial Marines who systematically kill the entire planet's population and then repopulate it from other, more overcrowded worlds.
World of Badass: By design. Having a 1 in any stat or skill, you are automatically comparable to the very best that a modern human can potentially be in that area, and you only go up from there. I.e. Strike (martial arts) of 1 makes you comparable to Bruce Lee. Most Imperial troops (the cannon-fodder mooks) have stats of 1 across the board minimum, making the faceless hordes of poor-trained conscripts that the Legionaires will shred more capable than the best special forces in the modern world.
Zerg Rush: The Imperium's tried-and-true tactic. They're wearing the Republic down through pure attrition. This is best shown in their fleet tactics: it is not uncommon for the Imperium to deploy literally several dozen times as many ships and battle frames in combat with the Republic.
When describing the Draken, the Imperial Icon notes that with proper battle tactics and use of drones, they might have a decent chance of winning against a Draken formation if they outnumber them "only" at a ratio of twelve to one.
Zombie Apocalypse: One of the viral threats is a spreading techno-zombie disease. However, these zombies are superhumanly fast and strong, able to chuck cars are run as fast as the same.